A former stripper now wants to be a cop after “Strip Church,” a Nashville, Tenn-based ministry, launched by Erin Stevens, the pastor’s wife, helped transform her life.
The Nashville ministry, which helps people cater to the needs of women working in the sex industry, was started back in October after Stevens said she was instructed by God to “go and feed the strippers,” according to Fox News.
Following this, Stevens started taking home-cooked meals to the various strip clubs in Nashville, and there she provided moral support and counseling to about 100 strippers from the nearly 15 strip clubs in the area.
“I told these girls they may not need God right now in their lives, but they will at one point,” Stevens told Fox News. “We never go in with a Bible and we never go in with a prayer sermon. We don’t try to change them, we just love them.”
Sarah, a former stripper whose real name was withheld to protect her identity, told The Christian Post that Stevens played a crucial role in her decision to quit working as an exotic dancer.
“When I first met her I thought, 'She has good intentions,'" Sarah told The Christian Post. "She didn't chastise me and she was the first to tell me 'God still loves you. You're here but He hasn't left you.'"
"She wasn't begging or bugging me and she wasn't handing me a Bible and she wasn't trying to change me, she was trying to help me," Sarah said.
According to Sarah, the turning point in her life was when she started attending the Friendship Community Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., where Stevens' husband Todd is the lead pastor. Within days, a recruiter who attends the same congregation was able to get Sarah a job as a security guard, and in April, the 23-year-old left her job as a stripper.
Today, Sarah accompanies Stevens on her visits to other strippers in Nashville.
“The last time we went to the club, one of the girls asked Sarah if the church paid us for coming and Sarah turned to her and said, 'We come because we love you and we love Jesus,' I thought that was awesome," Stevens told The Christian Post.
According to the Strip Church network’s website, the group has a number of ministries spread across the nation that reach out to strippers working in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe in Arizona, and Sierra Vista, Los Angeles, Oceanside and Orange County in California.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.